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Old 03-25-2011, 03:01 AM   #1
rcm_rx7
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Default Switches

I just had some questions, and wanted to ask what other people are using for switches in their control boxes.

I like the rotary style 2 position maintained switches for my box. After reading theelectricbrewery.com I located a set of four of them on eBay for about $15 shipped. The only problem is that they are only rated for 6 amps, not even close for use with my elements (5500 watt).

It's not a complete loss as I can use at least three of them, two for pumps as one for my PID.

So where can I find a switch that can handle at least 23 amps in the same style I have pictured below? I can't find any amperage rating on eBay, and when I do they aren't near enough. My other option would be to use another relay, preferably mechanical so I don't need another heat sink. Any suggestions?

image-1770806645.png  
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:49 AM   #2
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You should not switch the element directly, get a 30 amp relay that has a 120 volt motor/coil, the switch will control the relay which can handle the amps. You should also use a pid to control the element, the pid will cycle a SSR which can control the element. 5500w is a lot to leave on 100% of the time.

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Old 03-25-2011, 03:55 AM   #3
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I must concur with doggy on this one. I would also suggest PID control with a ssr. I do like the rotary switches. Once I get the bulk of my build complete and it's time for the control box, I am gonna go with the 22mm selector switches.

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Old 03-25-2011, 04:09 AM   #4
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If you are following Kal's design, go through a 30amp relay (120V coil) + Pid + SSR, per below:
elements.jpg

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Old 03-25-2011, 04:21 AM   #5
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I am using a PID and I have two 40amp SSR's, one for the HLT and one for the BK. I am going to order a three position switch to go between the the two elements using a single PID.

Thanks for the diagram Sparky (the one I have already looked at and failed to recall when building my panel!). I see what I need now, I want the ability to cut all the power to my elements with the flick of a switch. I just need to get a couple of the coils and I'll be set.

I just need to read through Kal's control panel part again, this is the second question I've posted here that was answered directly in his guide... sigh

Thanks for the help guys.

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Old 03-25-2011, 04:50 AM   #6
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Any reason this definite contactor wouldn't work?

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Old 03-25-2011, 04:57 AM   #7
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Think contactors are fine, Kal has talked about them on thread. If you are unsure and do not understand the devices, I would just follow Kals design. There are a lot of people that can help with his design.

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Old 03-25-2011, 05:02 AM   #8
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FYI and IMO, Kal's site has the individual pieces of the design, but there is no overall schematic to the complete system. If you are building the Kal system, I would do a layout before you build to ensure you have all the connections.

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Old 03-25-2011, 05:12 AM   #9
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I have slowly pieced together my control panel based off of Kal's setup, a few parts from other peoples panels, and some of my own weird ideas. It's only now that I'm piecing it together that I'm finding out the parts I missed. I am very comfortable working with relays, I have wired lots of them. Only difference is it was in automobile applications, not high amp AC frankenstein E-breweries.

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